Expo 58: 60th anniversary of Atomium

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 13:13
The “Smurf Experience” opens on June 9th in the Brussels Expo. The “Smurf Experience” opens on June 9th in the Brussels Expo. © Belga
The Atomium and Expo 58 are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year.
Three exhibitions were opened on March 23rd at the Atomium and the Brussels Design Museum (known as “ADAM”). Moreover, a beer and a comic strip have been introduced to accompany the festivities.

In the Atomium, there is a temporary extension to the permanent exhibition which was of interest to those who visited Expo 58, held from April 17th to October 19th, 1958. A multitude of photographs and film footage from the time, for the most part hitherto unseen, are on offer during this exhibition “People of 58”.

The ADAM museum, located just a stone’s throw from the Atomium, houses two exhibitions which also take us back to the Brussels World Fair (otherwise known as Expo 58). The first, “Catwalk 58”, designed in partnership with the Fashion & Lace Museum, is devoted to the fashion in spring 1958, “which liberated people from the ‘straitjacket’ fashions seen during most of the 1950s.”

“Graphic 58” tackles the innovative graphic environment of Expo 58, including shapes, colours and textures which organisers say contributed to the birth of the “Expo style”.

The publisher Anspach, associated with the crowdfunding platform Sandawe, has placed “Smile 58”, a geopolitical thriller at the heart of the Brussels World Fair of 1958 in book stores. The plot for the comic strip was entrusted to the Chronicler Royal, Patrick Weber. Baudouin Deville, known in particular for “Rider on the storm”, was responsible for the drawings used. The authors were able to rely upon the archives of the daughter of the Chief Commissioner for Expo 58, Jacqueline Moens de Fernig.

Staying within the Ninth Art (the cartoon world) the Smurfs, also 60 this year, are taking part in the festivities. The “Smurf Experience” will open on June 9th in the Brussels Expo.

A new beer also accompanies the various events. Flo58 has now been brewed for the occasion and is entirely in keeping with beers drunk at the time. It takes its name from the town of Flobecq, where in 1958 the Loix brewery was set up. A beer from the brewery proved award-winning in Expo 58.

A large themed flea market is anticipated for April 28th and 29th, whilst the weekend of May 5th and 6th will hold the music festival Rock around the Atomium. Lovers of old cars will not be overlooked and will be able, on May 27th, to marvel at a procession of vehicles from 1958 around the Jubilee Building (in the Parc du Cinquantenaire).

Lars Andersen
The Brussels Times
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